How the Food Industry Influences Public Health Policy:
Hi everyone! If you are a frequent listener of Causes or Cures, you’ll notice that I’ve focused a lot on the relationship between industry and health policy. Mostly drug companies, but this podcast will explore how the food industry influences public health policy. My guest is an expert in this area and has conducted research on this topic in different countries, which is great, because we can get a global scope of this issue.
In the episode, I chatted with Dr. Melissa Mialon about how the food industry influences public health policy and nutritional guidelines. She will describe the many characters of the food industry, what corporate political activity is and how they use it to influence health policy and nutritional guidelines, the fight over food labels, conflicts of interests involving decisionmakers of important nutritional guidelines, how the industry biases the scientific evidence base, and what we can do to make sure the system is not biased towards food industry interests and profits. Right now, I feel the policies and guidelines ARE biased towards profit for the food industry, and that’s not right. We should be putting people’s health first, end of story. When you consider our obesity epidemic (that is only getting worse) and then listen to how the food industry influences health policy, you should get angry and advocate for change.
Dr. Mialon is a food engineer, a Research Assitant Professor at Trinity College, Dublin and an honorary Research Fellow at the University of San Paulo in Brazil. She is also an independent consultant currently working in France. She works for many health and consumer organizations, including the WHO, Blommberg Philanthropies and the Ministry of Health Ghana and is the co-cordinator of the Governance, Ethics and Conflicts of Interestin Public Health. She is highly published in the area of how the food industry influences health policy in numerous countries and is the author of a recent book, Big Food and CIE. You can learn more about her and read her publications on her website here.
You can listen to the episode here.
In the spirit of addressing regulatory capture of all kinds, also check out some of the other episodes, including this one: